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This weekend has been a bit boring and I haven't had any human interaction to speak of, but that's all right, means I saved $ and it is all needed for Finland.  I realise now that WABA (boardgaming club) was on but did not come to this realisation until around midnight of Saturday.  Saturday is when I do my housework jobs and some garden jobs and try to get in some exercise.

On Sunday I had to call my mother for Mother's Day, since the customs of the tribe mean I would feel intensely guilty if I didn't.  There wasn't a lot to say, as it's only a week since I called before, but since I generally have to repeat everything, that still takes awhile.  M had to go through how wonderful it was to get flowers from my brother and his family, but all in all, not too bad.  When M answered the phone, I greeted her in my best Indian call centre operator accent, and did well enough that M almost hung up on me.  One has to get entertainment where one can. :-)

I messed around online, made Scrabble moves and wrote a bit of Pylon.  Am in the middle slump, i.e. not sure of a good ending, feeling that there's too much standing around and talking heads, so I arranged for a sea serpent to eat a surf boat.  Some rain was swept in this afternoon; it has now moved on, but there was enough to give everything in the garden a decent drink.

I've started to consider what things I may do when I get to Helsinki.  I will have four days to tourist before the Worldcon starts, not including the afternoon/evening of arrival when I expect to not do much at all.  There's the expected hop on/hop off bus, which can be combined with a ferry trip, plenty of museums, markets, the Finnish Parliament, the Botanical Gardens and the zoo.  Since I figure my chances of seeing Finnish wildlife are probably fairly remote, the zoo is my best bet, and the same goes for most of the plant life found in the countryside, so the Botanical Gardens sound like they would be worth a visit.  I also like the look of a tour called the Sustainable City tour, where they use the trams and buses to show you around.

One offering from the Worldcon peeps themselves is this trip to a nuclear power plant, which I include here for attendees not on Facebook. [Rob and Leece, looky here!]  I thought (a) when else am I ever going to see one and (b) it's a longer tour outside Helsinki, so I'll get a look at the aforementioned countryside :-)

Would you like to visit a nuclear power plant in connection with your trip to #Worldcon75?

We're organising a visit to the Olkiluoto power station on Tuesday, 8 August, the day before Worldcon officially begins. The trip starts at 8 am from Helsinki and return in the evening.

The tour of the site would be done by bus, as visitors aren't allowed into the reactor building for security reasons.

If you are interested in participating, please sign up or message pr5questions@worldcon.fi.

More info about visiting Olkiluoto here:


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I’m feeling quite good at the moment. It’s spring here in Perth and flowers everywhere. The rain was so good over winter that everything in the garden has gone crazy. When I check the weather stats, I see that this is in fact a (previously) normal winter, but that we haven’t had one like this for at least five years.

Yesterday was really warm, today not so much, but still really good. It encourages one to get outside and do some gardening. I also went for a walk/jog again and was able to do more jogging than last time. I’m wearing shorts for the first time this season!

I’m working only three days a week at the moment and using the extra time to exercise. I’m sure this won’t last and I will need to save a bit more over the coming months, but it’s good to have a bit of a break at the moment. It’s good for one’s general well being and this is at the forefront of my mind right now.

I’ve begun moves to organise a trip to Helsinki, Finland, next year, to attend the Worldcon. At first the costs seemed insurmountable, but taken one thing at a time, not so bad. I had believed I would have to move house, but that problem has, if not gone away, at least receded as my landlords got back in contact and we were able to re-establish our friendship. I’m not the only one with depression problems, for sure.

I therefore contacted the hotel I wanted to stay at to book a room, only to find that their Worldcon block had already been used up! They did, however, offer me a deal not much more expensive, so I took it, wanting the option of a nice hotel close by Messukeskus (sp?) the centre where the Con will take place. In doing this, I encountered an odd problem, i.e. my computer did not accept the hotel’s email as valid! It was certainly valid; there it was on the Worldcon site and I could contact them by it. But not by “reply” to an email. So I had to create a new email, type in the address again and cut and paste the information, so that there were the previous emails for them to refer to. Seems Finland doesn’t exist, according to my system.

I had considered the room share option but decided to go ahead on my own anyway. I like my own space and am also not sure whether my friends are definitely going. As to that, I’m not sure, but it doesn’t cost anything to make this booking and if I leave it, I may not have the option of this hotel at all. Bookings can be changed if need be.

My rat Barnaby is doing well, following the sad passing of his brother Dario. Until the warm weather arrived, he barricaded himself into his plastic castle with newspaper, but this is situation normal for this beastie. He’s not really interested in humans unless they have food, in which case he snatches the food and carries it off to storage. I’ve cuddled him under much rodent protest. He doesn’t really believe me when I tell him he’s a pet rat and that’s his job.

Tomorrow, Supernatural begins its 12th season and I’m going over to a fellow fan’s house after work to watch it with her. I'm looking forward to that.

I have no immediate plans for the next few weeks. Hopefully I can catch up with the odd friend at some point.
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Place holding book notes: Last read, Working Stiff by Rachel Caine. All the undertaker jokes you never wanted, in a rather entertaining urban fantasy/horror story featuring Evil Corporation and a way to bring people back from death, which involves the need to keep taking Evil Corporation's medicine in order not to decompose.

I've also got a one book "to be read list." Well, two, since this is The Dagger's Path, number 2 of Glenda Larke's series beginning with The Lascar's Dagger, and it's been so long that I've decided to reread number 1 first. At the moment I'm reading Vernor Vinge's Children of the Sky, a sequel I only knew existed when I saw it, to A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) and A Deepness in the Sky (1999). Given those dates, it's probably fair enough that I'd stopped looking for another one.

This is a long weekend coming up with no plans except to keep going with current gardening project and my exercise efforts, so I may well get the reading done. I'm feeling whatever is the opposite to adventurous and far-ranging at the moment. I had an encounter with a prat on the train this morning and while I could certainly have managed things better myself, it's left me in an edgy "maybe I'll just stay home for the rest of my life" kind of mood.

This particularly chilly and wet winter seems to have been going on for awhile now and Perth has gotten out of the habit of them.

On a more cheerful note, thanks to a huge map of the world which has appeared at work, I now know where Finland [Helsinki is the site of the 2017 Worldcon] is. I knew vaguely, but not to any degree of certainty. I've also read about Helsinki, its tourist attractions and its weather, which in the northern hemisphere August [summer] is warmer than what we have right now [winter/spring], but not by much. If I make it there for Worldcon, I think I'll take my winter jacket. I've also been checking out costs of flights and accommodation. The flight cost isn't too bad and that Finnair airline looks remarkably pleasant, for a 12 hour trip in a tin can. There's a 5 hour trip in a Qantas tin can to Singapore before that. I'm now debating just how many nights I can afford to stay in Helsinki. It won't be a hugely long holiday, but at least the days will have a lot more daylight than I'm used to.


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September 2017



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